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Daily Writing Errors: Find and Correct Them Before Another Does
Worked a little too quickly
At the beginning:
I used to make mistakes the same as most of you. (Oops, I just made one. I still do make errors.) Back then, I simply did not think about how important it was to be perfect. I would look over things too quickly to worry that I had made any mistakes.
These days, I simply try not to let as many writing errors as before get past without correcting them. It is best to have someone professional check your work when you are done. If you can, having a second person check it is also good. If this is not possible, simply having a friend or colleague check it is just as handy. If you are in the same position as I am though, then you can try what I do. Self-proofreading.
How to Proofread
The Edit mode:
- Capsule by capsule
I write all of my work out. (We are all different in this area, but ever since I began to write I have corrected my writing mistakes, those that I notice, as I do my writing.) Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I write out all of my work and I edit each capsule separately. Then I read the capsule, silently, from beginning to end. Next I read it ‘out loud’ from beginning to end. Finally I read it backwards, 'out loud' again stating each mark exactly as what it is. [Ex: Period, question mark, comma, ampersand, etc.]
I read the sentences backwards, but I read the words forwards, going one word at a time. I break the words down into syllables - which if I am not sure about the syllables, I look the word up in my dictionary at hand to see how the word breaks down. Then I pronounce each word very carefully by sounding out every syllable. I may notice that I misspelled a word or have even left out a space between words. Even that I have inserted, or missed, a punctuation mark. Which I immediately correct.
The Preview mode:
When I am done with one capsule I move on to the next one, and so on, until I am done. Then I click on ‘Preview’ and I start the whole process over again. I often catch errors that I had missed the first time. I click back and forth between ‘Preview’ and ’Edit’ to correct the errors in each capsule. After I have reached the bottom, I return to the top and start reading it again. If it reads clean this time, then I click ‘Publish’.
Now you might think that everything is okay, do not believe it. A day or two after it has been published I read it again on Hub Pages just to check. Sometimes I find mistakes, sometimes I do not; it depends. If I do find something, I read it again a couple of days later. Even if I have not found errors, I still read it again in case I have missed something from before. I am always re-reading and re-writing my work to keep the Hubs up to date - as well as I can - and constantly keeping an eye out for mistakes.
Why I do not rely on ‘Spell Check’:
I previously used spell checkers until I found out that they did not know the difference between words such as ‘to, too and two’ (homophones). I also found out that they did not know the difference between synonyms.
There are complete sentences which may even get past some such as, "Eye rays ewe bye uh chip." Would you want that to get into your article? There were many other times that I used it and the checker red lined a word, but when I looked it up in a regular dictionary the word was listed. I could not figure out at first what I was doing wrong - until I realized that it was not my fault.
There were many reasons why I stopped trusting them and began doing it myself. I carry my own dictionary and if the word is not there I can look it up in an online dictionary. I have many dictionaries, in fact – pocket sized, full sized, pedestal sized, and crossword – I only have the pocket sized next to the computer.
Why I did not go deeper into this area:
I can be reading a fiction or non-fiction book, or even a magazine, which have all been proofread and edited and I spot errors as I read. So I cannot say that my work is perfect since I am the only one checking it. I just try my hardest. In about seventh grade I won a spelling bee with ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’. Spelling, punctuation, etc. – I did well at.
In the area of grammar, that is where I am always trying to improve myself. I did not believe that I would score high enough to get a proofreading/editing job. Now that I am writing I am slowly getting better at my grammar.
Proofreader's marks - em dash
Proofreaders marks - en dash
Chicago manual of style
You may want a career
If you want to make this a career there are several factors to take into account. Are you familiar with the marks that proofreaders make? Since I do it on the computer I do not use the marks. The marks are for handwritten, or paper typed, work. On the right are a couple of simple examples. A few easy abbreviations and symbols used are shown in the table.
There are also different 'Manuals of Style' to consider. Some places use only one manual. While others may use two or three manuals. [Ex: AP, Chicago, Elements of Style, etc.]
Salary ranges can vary but they are high. I have a second table below which shows a few averages comparing proofreaders and editors. Those are just averages that I have come across, I have not looked for the jobs on my own. The information may be different now.
Average manual prices
Types of Manuals
Prices from-to (online/offline)
About $4.50 - $70.00
About $2.00 - $15.00
About $2.00 - $36.00
About $13.00 - $25.00
Top 10 online guides
What are manuals used for?
When you get a job there are places which go by the book, literally. When you are writing on your own then you may research and choose which manual to purchase and use.
Here are some ideas of what a few well-known manuals are used for:
- Chicago Manual of Style - it seems to be updated frequently and provides online supplements; it also seems available for many professions or fields; just make sure that it meets your needs
- A Manual for Writers of Research Papers - this also seems to meet the same standards as the CMoS
- The APA Guide - used by students and researchers in social & behavioral sciences
- AP Stylebook - known also as 'journalist's bible'
- MLA Handbook/Style Manual - used in fields as literature, languages and humanities
There are many more out there, even other countries. You only have to do research to find the proper one in your field that suits you. Unless you are applying somewhere that already uses a certain type and the rule is that you must use their manual/guide, no other.
Sample video of editing
$25,000 - $40,000 +
$32,000 - $134,000 +
Proofreading or editing
Which do you prefer?
Proofreader's marks and symbols
Used to indicate that an abbreviation should be spelled out, such as in its first use
Let it stand
Indicates that proofreading marks should be ignored and the copy unchanged
Put it in italics
Put text in capital case
Move text right
Move text left
Author: Kevin - ©2013
The author of this article claims it to be under copyright protection and warns against trying to copy it.
© 2013 The Examiner-1